Knowledge of things

Synthese 197 (8):3559-3592 (2020)
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Abstract

As I walk into a restaurant to meet up with a friend, I look around and see all sorts of things in my immediate environment—tables, chairs, people, colors, shapes, etc. As a result, I know of these things. But what is the nature of this knowledge? Nowadays, the standard practice among philosophers is to treat all knowledge, aside maybe from “know-how”, as propositional. But in this paper I will argue that this is a mistake. I’ll argue that some knowledge is constituted, not by beliefs toward propositions, but by awareness of properties and objects. Seeing isn’t believing, but it is knowing. After further characterizing this type of knowledge, I will make the case for it. Then I will consider a variety of objections. Finally, I will indicate how our recognition of this knowledge may answer other questions, and solve other problems, in philosophy.

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Matt Duncan
Rhode Island College

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